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2020 Top 10 Featured Horses of the Month from the NAES Archives

December 2020

From April, 2018

American Quarter Horse – Trail

Horse of the month for April 2018
Susan Johns of Paradise Valley was named a trails champion at the
2017 AQHA Select World Championship Show in Amarillo, Texas. (Submitted photo)

"Lopin For A Chex", a 2007 AQH gelding sired by “Lazy Loper” and out of “She Bee A Chex,”
loves to perform. At the 2017 AQHA Select World Championship Show in Amarillo, Texas
he claimed the world championship and reserve world championship titles in trail.
This good looking bay is owned by Susan Johns of Paradise Valley.

November 2020

From June, 2019

The American Mustang
COBRA owned by Ms. Marsha Hartford-Sapp of Tallahassee, Florida.

Horse of the month for June 2019
Photo Courtesy: Ms. Marsha Hartford-Sapp

In the rarified atmosphere of the horse show world the exhibitors generally use Thoroughbreds or Warmbloods and other breeds which have usually been the traditional horses used for the show ring.

However, Mustang horses, famous for their large herds and running free in the Southwestern United States, have never been used much, if at all, in upper level dressage arenas or in hunter/jumper classes which have typically been dominated by the “more traditional” breeds.

That’s most likely going to change after the very successful campaigning of COBRA, one of the most successful Mustangs ever to be shown. The 15 year old American Mustang competed successfully in the Prix St. George upper level dressage required tests, with scores into the 60’s, (All together, very good scores).

In 2017 COBRA and Marsha were invited to the Breyerfest 3-day held at the Kentucky Horse Park. So you’ll be able to purchase a Breyer Horse Model of this quite famous Mustang at your favorite hobby store. In addition, the pair were invited to the 2019 Breyerfest to be held again at the Horse Park in July 12 through 14, 2019.

COBRA is a wonderful example of how hard work and a super owner/trainer can bring an American Mustang up to competing on the national scene. And finally, the horse’s winning the International Horse of the Year trophy from the United States Equestrian Federation put the cap on the several years of outstanding performances.

NAES has included several photos showing one very handsome Mustang, and we’re very proud to show this super horse in the NAES’ Monthly Horse of the Month.

Horse of the month for June 2019 Horse of the month for June 2019 Horse of the month for June 2019
Photos Courtesy: Ms. Marsha Hartford-Sapp

Ms. Hartford told me that COBRA will be retired from active showing, and she has offered to send us instructive articles on training this special horse in particular and the American Mustang in general.

October 2020

#6 From December 2018

The Friesian Horse

In 2000 I was asked to perform an appraisal of a 10 year old Friesian stallion. I hadn’t ever appraised a Friesian and was very impressed with this fine stallion. He was quiet and generally very easy to work with.

After doing more research I discovered that the Friesian horse was, in fact, a wonderful horse for an amateur owner to handle. Therein is the reason the Friesian has become as popular as they are. The breed is quite typically quiet to work with and able to do so many things very well.

My focus this month is on a 60 Time World Grand National Champion with 73 Regional Championships - a Friesian stallion “SJOERD.” Early in his career at six years old, he garnered 38 Lifetime World/Grand Champion National Champion titles.

Horse of the month for September 2012
(Photo Courtesy: Photo courtesy of Three Day Ranch)

Horse of the month for December 2018
Photo courtesy of Kidder Equine Design
Horse of the month for December 2018
Photo courtesy of Three Day Ranch

“SJOERN” is a great example of the now very popular breed,
especially since the Friesian horse can do so many things willingly.

Since appraising my first Friesian many years ago, I’ve been asked to do several more,
including the famous “NANNING 374.”

Horse of the month for December 2018
Photo provided by Lloyds of London

NAES was asked by Lloyds of London to perform a follow-up appraisal of the very expensive
Friesian stallion owned by Mr. and Mrs. Kelnhofer of Hortonville, Wisconsin.

September 2020

#7 From May 2019

APHA Bay Overo Mare
“Radically Painted”

Horse of the month for September 2012
(Photo Courtesy:

Radically Painted sired by Radicalized with show records of 3 Time World Champion &
5-Time Reserve World Champion. And, dam by Eternal Norfleet APHA Champion
and Superior Halter and Western Pleasure.

Radically Painted is terrific example of a bay Overo mare. Her accomplishment are many: 2017 Reserve World Champion Youth 14-18 Trail, 2017 Reserve World Champion Youth 14-18 Western Horsemanship, 2016 World Champion Youth 14-18 Western Horsemanship, 2016 World Champion Youth 14-18 Western Pleasure, 2015 Reserve World Champion Youth 14-18 Hunter Under Saddle, 2014 Reserve World Champion Green Western Riding, and 2013 World Champion Green Trail.

Horse of the Month
(Photo Courtesy:

August 2020

#8 From October 2006

Oldenburg Stallion

Horse of the month for September 2012
(Photo Courtesy of Phelps Media)

Horse of the Month for October 2006 is the legendary Oldenburg stallion “DONNERHALL” shown here being ridden by Ms. Karin Rehbein of Germany. The horse influenced the entire dressage world as a producer of over 77 approved stallions in his breeding career. He died just short of his twentieth birthday in 2002.

July 2020

#9 From November 2015

The Kladruby Breed

Horse of the month for September 2012
(Photo: Helena Gornerova, National Stud Kladruby nad Labem)

Horse of the month is the Kladruby Horse which is the only indigenous breed of the Czech Republic. The Kladruby breed is over 400 years old, from the 16th and 17th century. The Kladruby horse shares ancestry traits with the Nonius and Lipica breeds.

The stables at Lipica and Kladruby nad Labem often exchanged breeding materials, not just studs, but also mares. It is estimated that there are 1,200 Kladruber horses in the world with more than 1,000 in the Czech Republic. The Kladruby’s average height is 16.2 to 17 hands and they are known for their high front leg action.

Their breeding results with horses in grey and black colors, and all grey horses are born dark, so the foals are dark brown, black. They have noble heads with typically shaped Roman noses, and have a strong neck and long body.

June 2020

#10 From September 2012

SSgt Reckless

SSgt Reckless was very much a hero to forward units of a
Marine Corps Recoilless Rifle detachment during the Korean conflict.

Horse of the month for September 2012
The little horse that could ...
Horse of the month for September 2012
Here Reckless is show receiving her
SSgt stripes at her promotion ceremony
from no less than the Commandant of the
Marine Corps, General Rand McCall Pate
at Camp Pendleton, CA.
(Photos provided by Robin Hutton)
In LIFE Magazine’s “Celebrating Our Heroes, listed alongside George Washington,
Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, is a small Mongolian mare named Reckless,
who became the greatest war hero horse in American history.

The story of Reckless is not only remarkable – it is unusual. And once you learn about her,
you will see why the Marine Corps not only fell in love with her - but honored her and
promoted her every chance they got. And it wasn’t just the Marines that served
with her in the trenches that honored her - her last promotion to Staff Sergeant was by
Gen. Randolph McC Pate - the Commandant of the entire Marine Corps.
You can’t get higher than that in the Marines.

Reckless joined the Marines to carry ammunition to the front lines for the
75mm Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marines -
and she quickly earned the love and respect of all of the Marines that served with her.

Lt. Eric Pedersen paid $250 of his own money to a young Korean boy, Kim Huk Moon, for her.
The only reason Kim sold his beloved horse was so he could buy an artificial leg for his older sister,
Chung Soon, who lost her leg in a land mine accident. Kim’s loss was the Marines’ gain.

It was not only Reckless’ heroics that endeared the Marines to her -
it was her incredible antics off of the battlefield.
You will not believe her antics when she was being ignored, or if she was hungry –
let’s just say you never wanted to leave your food unattended.
As legendary as she was for her heroics – her appetite became even more legendary.
This horse had a mind of her own – not to mention, being very determined.
Reckless had a voracious appetite. She would eat anything and everything –
but especially scrambled eggs and pancakes in the morning with her morning cup of coffee.
She also loved cake, Hershey bars, candy from the C rations, and Coca Cola –
even poker chips, blankets and hats when she was being ignored –
or if she was trying to just prove a point.

One of Reckless’ finest hours came during the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953.
At the time of this battle it was written that, “The savagery of the battle for the so-called
Nevada Complex has never been equaled in Marine Corps history.”
This particular battle “was to bring a cannonading and bombing seldom experienced in warfare …
twenty eight tons of bombs and hundreds of the largest shells turned the crest of Vegas
into a smoking, death-pocked rubble.” And Reckless was in the middle of all of it.

Enemy soldiers could see her as she made her way across the deadly “no man’s land”
rice paddies and up the steep 45-degree mountain trails that led to the firing sites.

“It’s difficult to describe the elation and the boost in morale that little white-faced mare gave
Marines as she outfoxed the enemy bringing vitally needed ammunition up the mountain,”
Sgt. Maj. James E. Bobbitt recalled.

During this five-day battle, on one day alone she made 51 trips from the
Ammunition Supply Point to the firing sites, 95% of the time by herself.
She carried 386 rounds of ammunition (over 9,000 pounds – almost FIVE TONS! -- of ammunition),
walked over 35 miles through open rice paddies and up steep mountains with enemy fire
coming in at the rate of 500 rounds per minute. And as she so often did,
she would carry wounded soldiers down the mountain to safety,
unload them, get reloaded with ammo, and off she would go back up to the guns.

She also provided a shield for several Marines who were trapped trying to make their way up to the front line.
Wounded twice, she didn’t let that stop or slow her down. It’s amazing that she survived.

What she did in this battle not only earned her the respect of all that served with her,
but it got her promoted to Sergeant. Her heroics defined the word “Marine.”
She was BELOVED by the Marines. They took care of her better than they took care of themselves –
throwing their flak jackets over her to protect her when incoming was heavy, risking their own safety.

Her Military Decorations included two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she wore proudly on her red and gold blanket.

It’s time we honored this horse in the manner she richly deserves with a Memorial Monument.
We will be dedicating the first Monument near Washington, DC, at the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, VA on Friday, July 26, 2013. Public is welcome. A second Monument and grave marker is planned for Camp Pendleton, where Reckless lived out her days, and is buried.

There has never been another horse like Reckless,
and her memory deserves this kind of honor and recognition.
(Re-printed from Life Magazine)

Horses of the Month for 2020

May 2020

Big Star – a Dutch Warmblood

Horse of the month

Born on June 1, 2003, a star was born: Big Star.
His sire is Quick Star and his dam sire, Nimmerdor which is an impressive lineage.
According to Stallion AI Services, Big Star is one of the best show jumping horses in the world, with numerous high profile wins including two Olympic Gold titles under the renowned rider, Nick Skelton.
Nick himself has referred to Big Star as “the best horse I have ever ridden”. It is also notable that this exceptional stallion is passing his athleticism and incredible temperament onto his progeny, making him a top choice for any jumping mare.

Horse of the month

Big Star was named 2017 Stallion of the Year by KWPN Royal Dutch Sport Horse.

April 2020

Cleveland Bay

Horse of the month
(Photo provided by )

The Cleveland Bay was produced in Yorkshire, England, the name "Cleveland" referring to the Vale of Cleveland in Yorkshire, and "Bay" to its color (always bay in color, no white markings - occasionally a small star). The breed that is genetically consistent credits the two hundred years of pure breeding. Standing at 16-17 hands and weighing around 1200-1500 pounds the breed has muscled hindquarters, sloping shoulders, dense bone and sound durable feet with a smart calm disposition.

Horse of the month
(Photo provided by )

Cleveland Bay horses were first imported to the United States in the early 1800s. The Cleveland Bay Society of America (CBHSNA) was founded in 1885, and over 2,000 horses were registered by 1907.

Horse of the month
(Photo provided by

Today the breed excels in Dressage, Driving, Eventing, Hunter, and pleasure. In the 2017 census data; there are 192 purebred Cleveland Bays in the United States and Canada. The CBHSNA recognizes Cleveland Bays with a minimum of 1/8th blood and with papers indicating CB ancestry.

March 2020

The Exmoor Pony

Horse of the month
(Photo provided by

The United Kingdom Rare Breeds Survival Trust declared the Exmoor Pony to be "endangered”. The population numbers are estimated to be less than 500 in Great Britain. 2010 there were estimated to be around 800 Exmoor ponies worldwide.

Exmoor ponies are usually dark bay with pangare markings around the eyes, muzzle and flanks and underbelly. No white markings are allowed on the registered bred. They stand at 11.1 to 12.3 hands and could reach 13.2hh.

Horse of the month
(Photo provided by © Copyright Chris Morgan

Exmoor’s hardiness makes it perfect for conservation grazing, and assist in the management of different types of grasslands, pastures, and to the conservation of Exmoor, UK itself.

In the late 1800s, the National Pony Society began to register Exmoors and Exmoor crossbreds. In 1921, the Exmoor Pony Society was formed, and published its first Stud Book in 1963. Registered purebred Exmoor’s were branded with a four-point star on the near (left) shoulder until the 2000s which attracted criticism.

It is now limited to semi feral ponies as the preference of breeders. In 2000, the Moorland Mousie Trust, a British organization, assist in the preservation of the Exmoor pony.

Horse of the month
(Photo provided by

They were used as pit ponies in the past for mining as far back when the Romans came to the UK for mining tin. Today some ponies are shown – driving, riding and agility and even winning at the International Horse Agility Championships in 2011.

February 2020

Registered Paint

Horse of the month for November 2019
(Photo provided by Ms. Shields.)

The horse of the month is Jagger, a 14 year old registered Paint, owned by Michele Shields of Bainbridge, WA.

January 2020

The Haflinger

Horse of the month for November 2019

In 1946, an effort by breeders concentrated on establishing purebred Haflingers.
As of 2005, almost 250,000 Haflingers existed worldwide.

Horse of the month for November 2019

Haflinger breeding farms operate in several countries – United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, England, and Italy however most of the breeding stock still comes from Austria.
In 2003, a Haflinger became the first horse to be cloned, resulting in a filly named Prometea.

Haflingers have many uses, including light draft, harness work, and various under-saddle disciplines
such as endurance riding, equestrian vaulting, and therapeutic riding. They are also still used by the Austrian and German armies for work in rough terrain.

The World Haflinger Federation, the international governing body that controls breed standards for the Haflinger, is made up of a confederation of 22 national registries, and helps set breeding objectives, guidelines, and rules for its member organizations. More information is available at the following links:

World Haflinger Federation

The Haflinger Society of Great Britain

The American Haflinger Registry

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Previous Horses of the Month:
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

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